Friday, January 6, 2017

REVIEW: Two Old Women

Two Old Women
Author: Velma Wallis

Two Old Women is based on an Alaskan legend. In a time of famine, two old women are abandoned by their people during a brutal winter. Left alone in the woods with minimal supplies, the women must remember skills from their youth in order to survive.

This is a beautiful, well-written re-telling of a native legend. The depiction of the cold winter and utter aloneness the women face abandoned in the Yukon is written masterfully by Wallis. The women grow strong, fueled by their betrayal and abandonment at the hands of their own people. In the end, they learn the power of friendship and forgiveness.

I loved this story. It's a quick read at only 140 pages. The adventurous tale of two elderly women surviving in the wilderness alone is beautiful and heart-warming. Plus, they learn so much their own strength and worth, while discovering the value of friendship, community, trust, forgiveness and cooperation. As with most legends, there is a deep truth at the foundations of this tale. Elders have a huge value to their families and should be treated with respect and kindness. And, the elderly should not just becoming complainers who expect to be served. The elderly should remember that they have strength, responsibilities and the power to inspire and teach those around them, especially children. This is just a lovely re-telling of a traditional Athabascan Indian tale.

Velma Wallis has also written two other books based on Alaskan lore: Bird Girl & The Man Who Followed The Sun, and Raising Ourselves: A Gwitch'in Coming Of Age Story From The Yukon River.

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